Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
This book will be bought by:
-- A few kids already interested in CM
-- Some adults hoping this would give the answer to getting a new generation to like CM
-- With luck, it may be purchased in bulk for music appreciation classes.

Kids who don't like CM won't read this book, so it won't fix the issue of greying CM listeners and concert-goers. It'll be one of the guides for the few kids who are really starting to enjoy CM already. (And most would probably look on the Internet for CM guides-- quicker and more convenient, especially since they'll be getting CM music from Youtube and streaming services).

That's my two-cents, anyway. I hope that some people get hooked on CM as adults, even as older adults, in sufficient numbers to make the CM audience's decline plateau or reverse
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
As a firm believer in early imprinting in the arts, I would recommend a hodge-podge of different approaches to introducing CM and the young to each other. Not in any order: exposing them to film/video soundtracks and suggesting that CM is or can be a place or way to further explore the sort of soundtrack music they really like. I loved as a kid the Richard Rodgers music for Victory at Sea--very stirring, and I wanted to hear more of such.

Pointing out that music they may hear in ads or as intro music for TV shows, etc., with examples, may be taken from CM--an example is the intro to Judge Judy episodes where we hear the opening 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th.

Playing for kids in the classroom bits of tone poems or ballet scores and asking them whether they hear in the music a thunderstorm (Beethoven, Grofe) and who did the more convincing job. Nightride and Sunrise suggests itself; also Villa-Lobos BB #2, more Grofe (On the Trail); which Rachmaninoff preludes and Etudes Tableaux sound the most like bells ringing. Hard to go wrong with The Nutcracker or Peter and the Wolf. Respighi offers many examples. It will take with those predisposed for whatever reasons to begin to like CM.
One of the big problems is, to me, is that kids are already imprinting on the repetitive, rhythmic, three minute pop song complete with music video (because the song alone is perceived to lack the substance to entertain listeners). Also consider that kids have short attention spans that inhibit enjoyment of many Certified Masterpieces of CM.

By the time their attention spans get long enough to take in a four movement Romantic symphony, their brains have already been wired to appreciate songs pretty much exclusively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
As a firm believer in early imprinting in the arts, I would recommend a hodge-podge of different approaches to introducing CM and the young to each other. Not in any order: exposing them to film/video soundtracks and suggesting that CM is or can be a place or way to further explore the sort of soundtrack music they really like. I loved as a kid the Richard Rodgers music for Victory at Sea--very stirring, and I wanted to hear more of such.

Pointing out that music they may hear in ads or as intro music for TV shows, etc., with examples, may be taken from CM--an example is the intro to Judge Judy episodes where we hear the opening 4 notes of Beethoven's 5th.

Playing for kids in the classroom bits of tone poems or ballet scores and asking them whether they hear in the music a thunderstorm (Beethoven, Grofe) and who did the more convincing job. Nightride and Sunrise suggests itself; also Villa-Lobos BB #2, more Grofe (On the Trail); which Rachmaninoff preludes and Etudes Tableaux sound the most like bells ringing. Hard to go wrong with The Nutcracker or Peter and the Wolf. Respighi offers many examples. It will take with those predisposed for whatever reasons to begin to like CM.
In short, my issue with these methods is that they are already common wisdom, and have been tried before. They are ineffective. Did playing stormy compositions in music class make a lot of young converts? No. Did the early 2000s era preschool cartoon Little Einsteins get my generation hooked on Mozart? Don't think so. Hmmm...maybe it influenced me to start listening to CM a few years later, but I am an outlier.

I don't think there is a solution to reversing the decline of CM audiences. All the above methods can do is create a slightly-higher proportion of CM listeners among the youth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I am an example of one. I grew up in a household where the day's pop music, Tin Pan Alley music, CM, Broadswy musicals, all were heard constantly. Get kids young enough and they are still open to all musical stimuli and will let CM be part of the mix. Short pieces or excerpts first, like bits of Peer Gynt, or Lt. Kije, or of Respighi. Over the years, the interest will (maybe) grow and the tolerance for longer works will also grow.
I'm not saying that exposing children to CM never works. I'm saying that it doesn't work for most children. You and me are outliers, and I gravitated to CM over time from the meagre exposure every child in America gets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
People respond to the arts if they have a frame of reference. When I was young, everyone knew about Van Gogh's Starry Night because of Don McClean's song about it. And I had never heard of Also Sprach Zarathustra until it showed up in the 2001 movie.

My feeling is, everyone likes classical music; they just don't know it yet.

One thing I have noticed is, rock music isn't as popular among young people as it used to be. They lean more toward rap and hip-hop. Maybe this writer's next book will be about getting young people to listen to Journey and Toto.
Hmmm...guess which generations listen to rock music? Boomers and Gen X (now parents and grandparents).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
All of these comments are interesting and there's a lot to think about. Even in the past, how many younger people gravitated to classical? Think of the 1000s of kids who attended or watched Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts. What effect, if any, did it have? When I was in school they would pipe in Deems Taylor and his music appreciation lecture over the PA system. Did it work? How few of us took to classical because of that? I'm always disappointed with our school orchestra programs: despite some amazing playing by youngsters, it doesn't seem to have a life long effect of turning them to classical. What caught my ear were Saturday morning cartoons (Warner Bros. especially) and Universal horror movies. Those are long gone. So about the best way to catch young people now is through video games. There are serious and fine composers writing for gaming, but whether it will translate into live concert attendance or worthwhile listening is still an open question. One thing is for sure: orchestras large and small must stop being Museums of Sound, quit playing the same old stuff over and over and play more appealing music. Go look at the Philadelphia Orchestra schedule for 2022/23; they're moving in the right direction, I think.
The warhorses are warhorses for a reason-- they are appealing. In particular, they're safe bets for the demographic that goes to CM concerts (middle-aged and older people).

To grow its audience, orchestras would have to keep its main audience happy while attracting new concert-goers. If they totally switch gears, they could lose their reliable customers while not making up for it in new enthusiasts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I applaud your teaching efforts. A question is how old are the students that you are interacting with. Age is key here, I think. I am talking the earlier the better before hormones and peer pressure kick in full time.
Do kids, in general, develop their musical tastes really early? Is what their parents listen to at home the music that they listen to when they're 30? Does that music "plant seeds" so they get into it when they're middle-aged (not just admire it-- regularly listen to it)?

If not, that route will be mostly ineffective, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
My opinion (only an opinion) is that you are aiming too high. I think the examples I gave would be more eagerly received.
I agree on Beethoven's Fourth Quartet for five year olds being possibly a bit too high (they are five, after all)

However, the slow movement of the American Quartet should be accessible to ten year olds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Lol, I'm not playing a whole movement or anything just a short section. I play a different piece of music every week for a starter (can be any genre - rock, funk, soul, classical, etc). I play a 2 minute section and the children 'appraise' it (What do you like about it, how does it make you feel, is the tempo slow, medium or fast, what instruments can you hear, etc). It sounds very formal but it's far from it and the children love hearing the different styles. They have to listen and comment on the genre, pulse, tempo, age, dynamics, etc. We are not discussing counterpoint! Teaching children the correct vocab is one aim and instilling in children the need to listen and appreciate other styles whether they like them or not. The kids never feel overwhelmed by the music and even the 5 year olds can happily tell you about the music they're listening to, using far better vocab (it was rubbish at the start of the school year). How many 5 year old working class kids can tell you what a melody, rhythm, pulse, verse, chorus, dynamics are? Most of the ones I teach!
Still, most newbies to CM enjoy orchestral music over chamber music.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I wonder if that is true. My daughter hated music that had even the smallest hint of bombast and naturally gravitated towards chamber music (Debussy, Ravel and then Brahms) before getting any taste for orchestral music. She is 25 now but still avoids symphonies. The name alone is enough to tell her that the music is not for her.
Your daughter is likely an outlier. Of course there are exceptions to the general rule.

There are only a few chamber music warhorses, and that's because newbies and the "Classic FM" type listeners do not like chamber music for the most part. (Some chamber music is well-known, because a substantial minority of CM listeners listen to chamber music, but even then the standard reportoire for chamber is smaller than it is for orchestral works.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Young people like music with high energy.

When I was in elementary school they took us to a concert of J.S. Bach. Bach was the exclusive composer that we studied in school.
Although some people think that Bach is the greatest, his music is not exactly the kind of music to introduce young people to classical music, because this enforces the stereotype that classical music is slow and soft.
Other composers are more suited for this.

However, to push people in general towards classical music would be a responsibility of the music industry (including radios), but we all know that the music industry hammers with things like "Gangnam Style".
The film and videogame industry does a better work with music, but it seems that this is not enough to contrast the music industry.
As a child, I liked some of the tracks on a "J.S. Bach: Adagios" compilation CD.. There was a flute and harpsichord sonata movement that sounded like the music on an Eric Carle VHS (maybe...I don't remember the music on the VHS anymore).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
The first post of this thread is nothing more than a copy and paste of an actual press release - The OP and the author of the book are one and the same -


He was a member since May 10, 2015 - 7 years ago - and has posted 4 times - the last post was October 11, 2016 - almost 6 years ago - and of the 4 posts, 3 of them are essentially advertisements for the books that he has written.

If he's so interested in the subject matter, why isn't he here to engage us in this dialogue and to defend or expound further upon it?
A great many legitimate issues were raised within the thread and yet the OP is nowhere to be found.

He copies and pastes a press release which speaks of him in the third person - Why didn't he log in - Start a new thread - and then present his case before us for a guided discussion?

I thought that these types of threads, in which someone is doing nothing other than shilling for a sale, were prohibited.

This is a subject worthy of debate - I just don't like the way that it was done - He writes a book - advertises it within the forum - and then disappears for years until he's written yet another new book - and then posts yet another thread only to disappear yet again.

4 posts in 7 years and 3 of them are for books that he's written - Disingenuous at best - dishonest at worst.
I originally posted in this self-promotion thread because I wanted to attack the ridiculous marketing for this book in a polite way. Well, now, I'll say what I really think.

It's pretty clear to me that Hutchinson's intended audience is not children, but adults like us who might be deceived into buying this book in the hopes that it'll get kids to love CM. Because kids don't read this forum*, and we won't enjoy a book written for children (even if a few of us are newbies who would benefit from an introductory text to CM).
*And if a couple do lurk on these threads, they already love CM

It's dishonest marketing, a scam. However, I enjoyed the discussion we had on the subject, that Hutchinson didn't bother to participate in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
I believe this was about posts which are now deleted which explicitly veered into unrelated political directions.
It was a poltical analogy to the CM situation, I think. The gist: some people will get into classical music in middle age.

This idea is testable, if we can find actual demographics of CM listeners to see if, say, the median age of listeners is NOT increasing over time, even if it's been hovering around (say) age 70.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Links to a 52-page report on attendance at CM concerts and music sales over a period of years. Although it is US data only, albeit somewhat dated, it is a treasure trove of information and graphics. I'd like to see more current data.

USA Audience Demographic Research Review December 10, 2009

These folks commissioned the study.
The takeaway is that the decline and aging trends in CM audiences is real.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
TwosetViolin is a hugely successful youtube channel with nearly 4 million subscribers run by two young Australian-Taiwanese classical violinists, Brett Yang and Eddy Chen, that mostly targets the 12 to 21 demographic but is popular with a general audience, including many who came to it with no prior interest in classical music. Hilary Hahn, Ray Chen and other classical stars are frequent guests (Chen is also originally from Australia). They have made two successful live world tours and will soon embark on a third, long delayed by the pandemic. They have a large fan base in Europe and the Americas as well as, of course, Asia and Australia.

I mention them here because they have all but singlehandedly demolished the myth that classical music cannot be sold to young people, repeated by some in this thread. Though video games and other current youth pop culture phenomena are prevailing themes in their videos, they go to great pains to be respectful of the western classical music tradition that always is their main topic, and mercilessly satirize any pop culture examples of disrespect, dismissing them with one of their running comments: "Sacrilegious!" Great, and funny, stuff.
Looks like that route works better than the tired old methods proposed in this thread.

I was thinking that David Hurwitz's channel could appeal to teenagers and young adults who already love classical music, with his really good popularization of certain works, his recommendations (= viewers with disposable income buying CDs), and, especially, his trolling (e.g. Tinnitus Classics series).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Several people have now referred to the idea that children who like CM are 'outliers'. I made the simple point that if that is the case, it'll most likely be because CM is not attractive enough to the overwhelming majority, and no amount of "education" (or other strategy) will make any difference. Just because I love something enough to want to tell other people about it and get them to like it, doesn't mean other people will be allured by its oh-so-obvious charms.

The question that no one seems to want to address (except in contemptuous terms about children not getting out enough, being brainwashed by pop and spending too much time on devices) is why not? What is it about CM itself that means it's not attractive enough to 95% of the general population?
Most people could learn to like CM, but they now expect immediate payoff from songs.
All valid remarks and TC is to be an enjoyable, not potentially contentious forum for everyone. Refraining from politics is axiomatic, especially now. However, freedom of expression and thought are inextricably tied. As a matter of history - consider that Beethoven had to deal with censors during the Metternich regime. Imagine if censors decided that some of Beethoven's works were not acceptable.
That's not a good analogy. The cancelling isn't by governments but by private businesses and individuals. As long as Beethoven finds a publisher, he would have become famous after his death when people came to their senses
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,427 Posts
Why do people use the word, force? All you can do is expose kids or people to other music. There nothing militant about it. It's just another aspect of being an educated person.
I don't think kids would want to read a book about music they don't care for. Many don't even like music class.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top